A report from Kotaku claims that GameStop may stop carrying the 8GB Wii U Basic on June 18, a week after the start of E3.
The report comes from a leaked message sent to GameStop stores giving all stores two weeks to prepare for a recall of the $300 version of Nintendo’s latest home console. The message was reportedly sent to multiple stores and confirmed at other locations by CNet.
The alleged recall may indicate that Nintendo will stop selling the Wii U Basic shortly after E3. There are no reports of a defect in the smaller capacity console, so the recall may just be a sign that Nintendo wants to discontinue the 8GB model in favor of the 32GB Wii U Deluxe.
Nintendo currently sells the Wii U Deluxe bundle for $350, just $50 more than the Wii U Basic. The Deluxe model of the console has four times the internal storage space for downloadable games and DLC, and comes in black as opposed to the white Wii U Basic.
The bundle also includes Nintendo Land, a collection of minigames based on Nintendo’s most popular franchises. The Wii U Basic does not have a pack-in game.
A recall may indicate that Nintendo will cut the price of the Wii U Deluxe following E3, as video game analyst Michael Pachter recently predicted. In the past Nintendo cut the price of its 3DS console shortly after release and offered free virtual console titles to early adopters to make up for the higher price they paid. Nintendo may choose to repeat that strategy with the Wii U.
At E3 next week Nintendo’s Wii U will compete against the new Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, which are much more powerful machines. Nintendo will bring its E3 games to select Best Buy stores in the U.S. and Canada to show off the console, but it may have a hard time competing with the other two consoles.